Saturday, March 9, 2013

I injured my knee...

I did something to my knee. Other than uncontrollable copious tears, ice, ibuprofen, arnica and Topricin, what else to do? I ate some of my frozen peas (and corn—what was I thinking?) so I ziplocked the remainder of them and have the bag strapped to my elevated knee. Excruciating to put any weight on it. Only way I can hobble is with a patella strap. Meniscus damage? Dislocated patella?  Bursa is puffed on inside joint. Reading up on it now. Pain is unbelievable.

Funny ligament noises. Like knee trying to pop back into place. It's taken about a week to declare itself and to get to this state. I've been ignoring it. There was no specific pinpoint of pain. Now it's painful at the inner joint where the tibia and femur meet. Sounds like MCL sprain or tear along the inner joint line of the knee. Or it's a torn meniscus. I'm leaning toward that one.

Driving (clutch) is excruciating. Waiting until I can take more ibu. Called the clinic-closed for weekend. Urgent care in Fremont! Too far to go. Counting the minutes until the next round of ibuprofen. Someone wants to know why I’m not popping Vicodin. Then I'd be barfing on the far wall. I can't take synthetic opiates. Can you spell projectile vomiting? And that's just the floor show. It gets worse.

My knee improved in the shower, it seems to prefer heat, but I did ice it too. At first, it was excruciating. If I straighten my leg and flex my toes up, heel down, then I can walk on it. No bending allowed. Cane too. If it spasms, ditto. Contract toes up (no ballet moves!) I can bend it to 45* (almost). I can only hold toes flexed for so long. Getting rather good at odd isolated moves—those years of dance when I was young...good old psoas for lifting. Other leg to lift or reposition leg. Very glad to be limber right now. I look like an odd stork, when I move—everything is an economy of movement. Every move is premeditated. Pain is a quick teacher. I was terrified of being busted by my grannie, so I hid all my injuries.

What I've learned: brooms make good crutches—especially when you’ve left the crutches on the other side of the room.Dirt on the floor really bothers me when I can't move fast. Broom crutch is doubly useful. Canes need leashes—they tend to get away. Scrunchies make good leashes. With one hand, it's hard to carry plates, cups. Jamjar glasses, and an apron to stash gell icepack and food is good. In other words, I look ridiculous. I also need milk. Don't know if I can fathom trying to drive to the store. Clearly not working today. Or tomorrow. I’m doing this alone, Neil is still in Scotland.

I carefully plan all forays to the kitchen & loo. Scope of my limited world horizon. What I don't get is how easily I become tired. I guess I'm masking the pain so I don't feel it and it's a lot of work. Sh*ty, forgot to take ibuprofin this AM and it's time for round 2. Playing catch up with da meds. My knee feels like it's made of lead. Heavy, hard to bend.

I have to hobble into work & file a report, Will try & go to Dr tomorrow, and yes, I'd love to borrow some crutches, if they don't give me some. The locked knee with toe to ceiling trick is like a natural immobilizing splint. So that suggests meniscus. Phew! Doable. Shouldn't have ignored the pain Friday. We tomboys who grew up with the no pain, no gain attitude don't know when to say Uncle! When I was a child, I broke my left arm and never told anyone—nut until I was being X-rayed after an accident in 1997, that I knew about it. Stoic, stiff upper lip, and all that.

I hadn't counted on exhaustion from pain. Working up courage to go to Urgent Care Clinic. A two-hour wait. Reading opportunity! Nearly finished me off for the day to go to work & get the paperwork. Can only escape pain by keeping knee locked and toes up—as if to do leg lifts. Counter intuitive. Otherwise it's excruciating pain. Waiting for bu to kick in before I attempt to drive. Hard to bend leg to get into the car!

Catch-22. Morning chores made me nauseous (from pain), and I can't take any ibuprofin until I eat—and the thought of eating is—ugh. So the pain continues. First time ice has felt good on the knee. Today I can begin to use heat. Dr gave me cool icepack and heating pad with velcro! OK, that's done.

One week later...

Yup, Kevin McConnell was right. Torn meniscus. I'm in love with Polar Frost gel. Swelling is going down—knee looks almost normal. But I'm not supposed to put any weight on it. No can do. Too disorganized on two crutches. But one crutch is good, even better than the cane—which I favored until today.

I am now able to hobble around the house sans crutches, but need to bring them on outings. The PT taped my knee—amazingly simple process—an x around the kneecap on either side mimics the tendons/ligaments and adds stabilization to the knee. It looks like I'm wearing a bizarre form of painter's masking tape art! Just call me the Hobbl-it.

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